BaliPure ties Pocari at 1-1

first_imgMeanwhile, Alyssa Valdez bagged the Most Valuable Player award and her Creamline took third place after beating Power Smashers, 25-20, 11-25, 25-20, 25-19. Creamline swept the best-of-three series.Earlier, Cignal captured the men’s title after downing Air Force, 17-25, 27-25, 27-25, 16-25, 15-10.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Banal fuels Flying V’s perfect run 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net got enough spunk to halt Pocari Sweat’s seemingly unstoppable freight train Tuesday night.Grethcel Soltones finally put it down with a down the line attack to give the Water Defenders a 25-16, 26-24, 24-26, 24-26, 15-13, win and extend the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference finals at Philsports Arena.ADVERTISEMENT “I told them that let’s just believe we can do it, we just have to keep our confidence level high all the time,” said BaliPure coach Roger Gorayeb.Game 3 will be on Thursday at 6 p.m. at Filoil Flying V Center.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutLizzlee Ann Pantone made 23 digs and 13 receives, while import Jennifer Keddy took care of the offense, delivering 20 points for BaliPure.BaliPure took a match point, 24-23, in the third set on a Keddy block of Desiree Dadang’s attempt. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken LATEST STORIES MOST READ What ‘missteps’? World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide View commentslast_img read more

NBA’s Silver Weighs Sterling Fallout

first_imgThe Los Angeles Clippers have April 28 off.Adam Silver likely won’t get that same luxury.Facing the first real crisis of his short tenure as NBA commissioner, Silver is under pressure to swiftly bring some sort of resolution to the scandal surrounding Clippers owner Donald Sterling and the racially charged comments he allegedly made in a recorded conversation, portions of which were released over the weekend by TMZ and Deadspin.The matter will not go away anytime soon, but the players’ association is hoping Silver rules before the Clippers play host to Golden State in a critical Game 5 of their knotted-up Western Conference first-round series on April 29. That means plenty of eyeballs will remain on the commissioner’s office, waiting to see if any word is coming.“This situation is a massive distraction for the league right now,” said Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, the former NBA All-Star who is serving as an adviser to the National Basketball Players Association while the Sterling matter plays out. “It must be addressed immediately.”Silver’s first priority is verifying Sterling’s voice is on the recording. From there, Silver’s next move remains unclear. He works for the owners — and so far that group seems to have no sympathy for Sterling’s latest controversy.Among those who have spoken out publicly to condemn the alleged Sterling remarks: Washington’s Ted Leonsis, Miami’s Micky Arison and perhaps most notably, Charlotte’s Michael Jordan, who won six NBA titles as a player.“I’m obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views,” Jordan said in a statement. “I’m confident that Adam Silver will make a full investigation and take appropriate action quickly.”Silver started as commissioner Feb. 1, replacing the retired David Stern. Silver met with Kevin Johnson and heard five things that the players’ union wants from the commissioner, that list includes:—Sterling doesn’t attend any NBA games for the rest of the playoffs because of the “enormous distraction.”—A full account of past allegations of discrimination by Sterling and why the league never sanctioned him.—An explanation of the range of penalties the league could bring against Sterling.—Assurance the NBA and the union will be partners in the investigation.—A decisive ruling.“He’s got to come down hard,” Hall of Fame player Magic Johnson, who was referenced on the audio recording, said on ABC.The NBA constitution is not public, though it’s understood the commissioner’s powers are broad when it comes to dealing with matters deemed “prejudicial or detrimental to the best interests of basketball.” A fine, a suspension, a demand for sensitivity training, all those and more are surely at Silver’s disposal.Meanwhile, more audio may be coming. An employee in the office of attorney Mac E. Nehoray, who represents the woman allegedly on the tape, said the full recording lasts about an hour. The clips released by TMZ and Deadspin are significantly shorter than that.The attorney’s office also insists that the recording is legitimate and that Sterling is the man on the tape.Also, the NAACP announced on Twitter that “#DonaldSterling will not be receiving a lifetime achievement award from the LA Branch of the NAACP.” Sterling had been slated to receive the honor on May 15 as part of the 100th anniversary celebration of the group’s Los Angeles chapter.Some players feel for the magnitude of the task Silver is facing.“What, he’s been three months on the job? And he has to deal with an issue like this,” Washington’s Garrett Temple said of Silver. “It’s unfair to him. … It’s going to be a difficult situation for him to take care of, and he’s probably going to act swiftly as he said. And he needs to do so. It’s a very tough issue. A lot of different sides. But it’s more than basketball.”Sterling agreed to not attend the April 27 game, though his wife — who has filed suit against the woman alleged to be on the tape — was present. Rochelle Sterling released a statement to KABC-TV in Los Angeles.“Our family is devastated by the racist comments made by my estranged husband. My children and I do not share these despicable views or prejudices. We will not let one man’s small mindedness poison the spirit of the fans and accomplishments of the team in the city we love. We are doing everything in our power to stand by and support our Clippers team.”Sterling has been the subject of many past controversies, but this, particularly at playoff time and with his own team a potential title contender, has perhaps generated more outcry than the others combined. Even President Barack Obama addressed the issue at a news conference in Malaysia.The next move will be made by Silver. “This is a defining moment for the league,” Kevin Johnson said. “It’s a defining moment for the commissioner.”___By Tim Reynolds, AP Basketball Writer. AP Sports Writers Antonio Gonzalez and Joseph White and Associated Press Writer John Rogers contributed to this report.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Spain Replaces Fired Lopetegui with Hierro for World Cup

first_imgWith only two days to go before Spain’s opening match at the World Cup, Julen Lopetegui was fired as national team coach after accepting a job to lead Real Madrid next season.Spanish soccer federation president Luis Rubiales, who made the announcement on Wednesday in Krasnodar, later said Fernando Hierro would replace Lopetegui as coach for Spain’s match against Portugal in Sochi on Friday.The 50-year-old Hierro, a former national team player and Real Madrid captain, will be taking on his first major coaching job. He had been acting as the federation’s sports director and was already in Russia with the national team.Rubiales said firing Lopetegui wasn’t the best solution but it was needed after the federation was caught by surprise by Madrid’s announcement .“The federation cannot be left out of a negotiation by one of its workers and be informed five minutes before the press release,” Rubiales said. “We have been compelled to act.”Rubiales, who took over as president last month, said Lopetegui disrespected the federation’s values and it was the only decision he could make.“It’s a difficult situation, but we are not the ones who determined the action that had to be taken. The federation has its values and it has to maintain them,” Rubiales said. “It may look like a weakness now, but with time this will make us stronger.”Rubiales said he tried to keep the Madrid announcement from being made public but it wasn’t possible. He said he had to make the decision — which was supported by the federation’s board of directors — to “send a clear message” that things have to be done properly.There were reports that players tried to persuade Rubiales to change his mind and keep Lopetegui on the job.FILE – In this June 9, 2018 file photo, Spain’s national soccer team coach Julen Lopetegui shouts during a friendly soccer match between Spain and Tunisia in Krasnodar, Russia. Real Madrid said on Tuesday June 12, 2018 that Spain coach Julen Lopetegui will be the team’s manager after the upcoming soccer World Cup. (AP Photo/File)“We are the national team. We represent this emblem, these colors, our fans, a country,” Spain captain Sergio Ramos wrote on Twitter. “Our responsibility and commitment is to you. Yesterday, today and tomorrow, together.”Because he was fired, Madrid won’t have to pay the 2 million euros ($2.3 million) of the termination clause on Lopetegui’s contract. Rubiales said that although the federation’s financial situation was not ideal, money was “not the most important thing in a moment like this.”Lopetegui did not attend the news conference but was expected to speak to the media after returning to Spain.Hierro was expected to lead his players for the first time in a practice session later Wednesday.The former defender spent most of his career with Real Madrid but finished his playing days with English club Bolton in 2005. He played in four World Cups with Spain, from 1990 to 2002, and in two European Championships, 1996 and 2000.Hierro was Carlo Ancelotti’s assistant at Real Madrid after Zinedine Zidane left the post in 2014. He coached second-division club Real Oviedo two seasons ago and was Malaga’s general manager after leaving his sports director position with the Spanish federation in 2011.After Madrid’s announcement that it hired Lopetegui, critics immediately began questioning some of the coach’s decisions with the national team, including his choice to leave some Barcelona players such as Sergi Roberto out of the World Cup squad. There were also questions about how Lopetegui would be able to fully focus on the national team while also having to discuss off-season signings for his new club.There are six Madrid players in Spain’s team for the World Cup.Lopetegui’s name had not been mentioned by Spanish media among the probable candidates for the Madrid job, which opened up after Zidane unexpectedly quit. Last month, Lopetegui agreed to extend his contract with the national team through 2020.“I admire and respect Lopetegui a lot. He is a top coach, and that made it harder to make this decision,” Rubiales said. “Winning is important, but above that, we need to know how things have to be handled.”It was a difficult departure for the 51-year-old Lopetegui, who took over from Vicente del Bosque after the 2016 European Championship and had been credited with reviving a team that was on the decline after winning Euro 2008, the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012.By successfully blending talented youngsters and veterans from its golden generation, Lopetegui kept Spain unbeaten through 20 matches in charge, comfortably leading the team to the World Cup from a qualifying group that included Italy.He won European championships with Spain’s under-19 and under-21 teams in the early 2010s, but had a lackluster stint with Portuguese team Porto in his only job with a major club.Rubiales has already left his impression after taking over a federation which was in the hands of embattled official Angel Maria Villar for nearly three decades. He was elected president over Juan Luis Larrea, the federation’s former treasurer and its interim leader since Villar was suspended following his arrest last year on suspicion of corruption.In one of his first actions, Rubiales canceled a previously arranged “vacation” trip by officials to the World Cup that would cost nearly 2 million euros ($2.3 million). He got the money reimbursed and spent only about 500,000 euros ($590,000) with new travel arrangements for sponsors and federation officials.“We are all affected,” Rubiales said about Lopetegui’s departure. “We have to think about what is best for the entity, for the federation and the team, and from this afternoon we will all be together to go forward.”—By TALES AZZONI , AP Sports WriterTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Central Africa says Boris Becker’s diplomatic passport is ‘fake’

first_img\R Bangui (Central African Republic), Jun 20 (AFP) The Central African Republic (CAR) said on Tuesday that a diplomatic passport that tennis star Boris Becker claims entitles him to immunity in bankruptcy proceedings in Britain “is a fake”. “The diplomatic passport that he has is a fake,” foreign ministry chief of staff Cherubin Mologbama told AFP. The document’s serial number corresponded to one of a batch of “new passports that were stolen in 2014,” he said. In addition, the passport — a copy of which has been seen by AFP, and bears the date of March 19, 2018 — does not carry the signature or the stamp of the foreign minister, Charles Armel Doubane, Mologbama said. Becker, responding through a German magazine, insisted that he held genuine diplomatic status. “It’s the truth. It is a fact that I am, today, a diplomat” of the CAR, he said in a filmed interview with Top Magazin Frankfurt. On Friday, lawyers for Germany’s three-time Wimbledon champion lodged a claim in the High Court in Britain saying that he had been appointed a sports attache for the CAR to the European Union (EU) in April. This, they argued, granted him immunity under the 1961 Vienna Diplomatic Convention on Diplomatic Relations from bankruptcy proceedings over failure to pay a long-standing debt. “Becker’s job profile does not exist” in the CAR’s records, Mologbama said.Furthermore, the passport says that Becker’s diplomatic function is “financial charge de mission,” a role that “has nothing to do with sporting questions,” he noted. In April, the 50-year-old former tennis star had tweeted a picture of himself shaking hands with CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadera at a meeting in Brussels.advertisement Becker shook up the tennis world at Wimbledon in 1985 when, as an unseeded player, he became the then youngest-ever male Grand Slam champion at the age of 17, defending the trophy the following year. The German went on to enjoy a glittering career and amassed more than USD 25 million (21.65 million euros) in prize money. – Shadowy reputation – ====================== The CAR is one of the poorest countries in the world, ranking at the very bottom of the 188 nations in the UN Development Programme’s 2016 Human Development Index. Landlocked, rich in gold, diamonds, oil and uranium, the country of 4.6 million people has been chronically unstable since it gained independence from France in 1960. Presidents have traditionally been surrounded by “sleazy courtesans” and “dodgy counsellors who talk loud,” French writer Jean-Pierre Tuquoi wrote in a book published last year. Its modern history has been studded with coups, foreign mercenaries, assassination attempts, shadowy business deals and improbable figures, he says. They include Jean-Bedel Bokassa, a former army corporal and fan of Napoleon who became president, then president for life — and finally declared himself emperor before being ousted by France in 1979 after a massacre of school children. One of his successors, Francois Bozize, was named in a law suit filed in France in 2015 by the CAR government, which said that during his tenure, “numerous advisors and relatives… benefitted from passports of convenience” in exchange for money. These including a Kazakh opposition figure, Mukhtar Abiazov, a female advisor to former Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi, and an Israeli businessman, according to the suit filed by the CAR’s attorney, William Bourdon. Bozize was overthrown in 2013 by a mainly Muslim rebel alliance, the Seleka. His elected successor, Faustin-Archange Touadera, has effective rule over only a fraction of the country as most of it is in the hands of militias. Poor governance and a tradition of graft make for a toxic mixture, says Thierry Vircoulon, a CAR specialist at the French Institute for International Relations (IFRI). “Given the authorities’ extreme weakness and corruptibility, crooks and conmen of every stripe always find a way to gain access to the president and make money,” he says. “This country is perfect for business pirates.” (AFP) AHAHlast_img read more

Samsung Galaxy A50, Galaxy A30 first impressions: Brilliant display, premium touch at price under Rs 20,000

first_imgSamsung isn’t the company anymore we knew in 2018. The brand has stopped neglecting the affordable sub-Rs 20,000 segment and is now being aggressive with its latest launches. Yesterday, we saw Samsung unveil the new Galaxy M30 — a smartphone worth Rs 15,000 offering a narrow-bezel AMOLED display, a big 5000mAh battery and a segment-first triple camera setup. It is clearly evident the company is trying to gain back the top position it once enjoyed before losing out to the Chinese companies. They haven’t stopped there though and instead are coming up with another lineup to offer more aggressive options in the sub-Rs 20,000 category — the Galaxy A series.Samsung in 2019 is making the Galaxy series more affordable to the masses and it’s doing that with three new models. There’s the entry-level Galaxy A10 sitting at Rs 8,490 while the better equipped Galaxy A30 sits around Rs 16,990. The top-of-the-line Galaxy A50 starts from Rs 19,990 for the base variant and goes up to Rs 22,990 for the variant 6GB RAM and 64GB storage.The new models takeover from the Galaxy M series and offer a dash of premiumness to Samsung’s sub-Rs 20,000 category. On paper, the specifications are interesting. To see how they fare up in the real world, I spent some time with the Galaxy A30 and Galaxy A50 before Samsung launched them.Design and displayThe new Galaxy A series is a more clever version of the 2018 lineup. Glossy surfaces smeared with wild gradients are the real deal in the sub-Rs 20,000 category and the new Galaxy A series also follows suit. However, Samsung wants to appeal to the classy lot and hence, goes for subtle gradients with luxurious colours. The Galaxy A30 and A50 are made up of glossy polycarbonate (plastic) that are painted in fluorescent colours with subtle rainbow-ish gradient effects. This effect is also present on the Galaxy S10 series.advertisement The Galaxy A30 features a dual camera setup with a fingerprint sensor at the back. The entire rear has a curvature that sits comfortably in the palms. The Galaxy A50 also has a similar rear design, except for triple camera setup and no fingerprint sensor. Surprised?For the Galaxy A50, Samsung is relying on an optical in-screen fingerprint sensor, similar to the ones you see on Oppo and Vivo phones. Therefore, the A50 looks clean and elegant, especially in the Prism White variant. Flip it over and you will find a big 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display with full HD + resolution. There’s a U-shaped notch on the top and a sizeable chin at the bottom. As with all Samsung AMOLED displays, the panel doesn’t shy while rendering colours and a vibrant contrast makes it one of the best in the segment. The screen feels immersive at first glance. The Galaxy A30 also retains the same display, albeit without the in-screen fingerprint sensor.Specifications and performanceSamsung says the Galaxy A series is now focused on performance as well. To justify the claim, the Galaxy A50 goes for a new Exynos 9610 chipset with an octa-core processor clocked at 2.3GHz. This chip at least comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. The Galaxy A50 runs on OneUI based on Android 9 Pie out-of-the box. In fact, the entire 2019 Galaxy A series will run on OneUI. The Galaxy A30 gets a slightly less powerful Exynos 7885 chipset previously seen on last year’s models and comes with at least 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. In my limited time with both the phones, the user experience felt premium. Samsung’s OneUI is meant to offer a smarter user experience with clever layouts that utilise the big screen more effectively. While doing that, the interface felt snappy and I was able to juggle between the pre-loaded apps without noticing any signs of stress. Samsung’s OneUI feels polished and delivers a polished user experience. And the new dark mode is easily the coolest feature that will draw nerds. Maybe Samsung should bring this to the Galaxy M series as well.CamerasThe Galaxy A50 gets a triple camera setup — a 25-megapixel primary sensor with F1.7 lens + 5-megapixel F2.2 depth sensor + 8-megapixel ultra wide-angle shooter. The front-facing camera also gets a 25-megapixel sensor, but with F2.0 aperture. The Galaxy A30 makes do with a dual camera setup for the rear — 16-megapixel + 5-megapixel wide-angle setup, with the second having a wide-angle lens. There’s also a 16-megapixel selfie camera with a brighter aperture.In the limited time I had with the phones, the cameras seemed to take good looking photos. However, a few random shots didn’t show class-leading results. Given that these are pre-production models, Samsung could improve them by the time it starts shipping. That said, the wide-angle camera is fun to use.advertisementBatteryThe Galaxy A50 and A30 are both powered by a 5000mAh battery and come with support for 15W fast charging. GIven how phones with 4000mAh battery behave, these phones should easily last an entire day.Galaxy A30, A50 first impressions: Samsung is back in the gameIts been a long time since Samsung properly did a desirable smartphone under Rs 20,000. The new Galaxy A30 and Galaxy A50 portray Samsung’s change of heart — these phones feel brand new and aren’t a refreshed version of the same old Samsung J series that we are used to. I am particularly impressed with the Galaxy A50 for the sheer value it offers over its rivals. An in-display fingerprint sensor and Samsung’s polished OneUI can make it a better value over rivals from several Chinese brands.Stay tuned for the full review of the Galaxy A30 and A50 soon.ALSO READ | Samsung Galaxy A30, A50 quick review: Affordable mid-range phones that feel premiumALSO READ | Samsung Galaxy M30 quick review: Take note because Super AMOLED display and 3 rear cameras at Rs 14,990ALSO READ | Samsung unveils Galaxy A30, Galaxy A50 with premium 3D Glasstic body, in-screen fingerprint sensorlast_img read more

NRL hands Jack Wighton 10-week ban after assault charge

first_imgTopics Share on Pinterest Read more Rugby league Since you’re here… Share on LinkedIn Share via Email Canberra have blasted the NRL’s decision to overrule the Raiders’ penalty for fullback Jack Wighton, who has pleaded guilty to five assault charges from a night out. news Reuse this content … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.center_img Share on Messenger Share on Twitter Share on Facebook NRL Support The Guardian The Raiders proposed a six-week ban for the 25-year-old on Monday, but the NRL deemed the penalty not harsh enough and added a further four weeks to ensure Wighton will not play again during the regular season.Raiders chairman Allan Hawke fired back at the NRL’s treatment of the situation, calling their ban “excessive” as Wighton still faces sentencing in November.“After reviewing all of the facts surrounding this incident we firmly stand by our decision and the punishment handed down by the club,” Hawke said. “We’re disappointed to learn the NRL does not agree with this punishment and feel they have to come over the top and add a further four weeks and a monetary fine [of $30,000] to the penalty.“We are perplexed as to why the NRL felt the need to impose further punishment before this process was concluded and it sets an extraordinary precedent to the way matters are handled by clubs in the future.“In light of this, it appears clubs don’t really have a role in imposing penalties on their own employees, so perhaps it’s time for the NRL and its integrity unit to decide these matters, so that there will be a consistent approach for future offences.”The only way Wighton could play again this year is if the Raiders, who sit three games outside of the top-eight, make the finals. He has five days to appeal the penalty.NRL CEO Todd Greenberg had made it clear that he didn’t agree with the Raiders’ stance, suggesting the club could be overruled. “It’s simple as this – I’ve viewed the footage and I don’t think the sanction they’ve proposed is strong enough,” Greenberg said on Thursday.Wighton will face sentencing on 14 November over five charges of assault, including two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and one of public urination. He changed his plea to guilty in June after initially looking to contest the charges when he first fronted the ACT Magistrates Court in April.The maximum penalty for assault occasioning actual bodily harm is a five-year jail sentence. Share on WhatsApp Daly Cherry-Evans emerges as the man to take Queensland forward Australia sportlast_img read more

9 days agoMan Utd watching Napoli star Fabian Ruiz

first_imgMan Utd watching Napoli star Fabian Ruizby Paul Vegas9 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United have been watching Napoli star Fabian RuizThe Spanish international, 23, has risen to stardom since joining Napoli from Real Betis for £26million in 2018.And his exploits have attracted the attention of Real Madrid and Barcelona, who are in the market for a new control midfielder.Goal claim the Spanish heavyweights will battle it out for Ruiz next summer, but Napoli plan to tie him to a new contract with an £87million release clause.And the Manchester Evening News says United were also monitoring Ruiz over the summer. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img

25 injured after buses collide at Mayo Road

first_imgKolkata: At least 25 persons were injured after a collision took place between two buses at Mayo Road on Sunday afternoon. Within five minutes of the accident, police started rescuing the injured passengers and rushed them to SSKM Hospital.According to sources, on Sunday at around 2:30 pm, a minibus of the Anandapur-Howrah route was going towards Park Street. When the minibus reached Mayo Road in front of Calcutta Sports Journalist Club, a bus from route 52 suddenly applied brake. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaIt has been alleged that a taxi had stopped in front of the route 52 bus without giving any signal, in order to pick up a passenger. However, the minibus driver managed to stop the bus by applying emergency brake. But within a few seconds, another bus from route 212 rammed into the back of the minibus, injuring several persons. Due to the impact, the minibus which had managed to stop, also collided with the bus from route 52. Due to the collision, passengers of the minibus and the bus from route 212 sustained serious injuries. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwaySeveral passengers fell down inside the bus, while the heads of some of them rammed into the iron rods of the seats, leading to serious head injuries. Immediate after the accident, some pedestrians informed police, who soon arrived at the spot with ambulances. Within a few minutes, police recovered the injured passengers who were sitting or lying on the roadside and sent them to SSKM Hospital. Several injured persons were treated and discharged from the hospital. However, approximately four persons with serious injuries have been admitted. According to the passengers, the bus from route 212 was moving at a high speed. It is suspected that the driver of the bus from route 212 might have been trying to overtake the minibus in order to compete with it. Till Bijan Setu, both the buses availed the same route. The drivers and conductors of both the buses fled soon after the incident. The bus from route 52, which was also damaged partially, left the spot. Police are checking CCTV camera footages to find out what exactly had happened. The owners of the buses will be contacted as well.last_img read more

Police stop man with knife on Parliament Hill

first_imgOTTAWA – Police are investigating after a man with a knife was detained today during the Changing of the Guard parade on Parliament Hill.The Defence Department says the incident took place this morning at 10:15 on the Hill lawns.The department says any threat was halted due to the quick reaction of soldiers, RCMP and the Parliamentary Protective Service.No one was injured during the events.The RCMP say Ottawa police are investigating.Security on Parliament Hill has been bolstered since a man with a gun went on a rampage in the Centre Block almost four years ago.last_img

Melky Jean Presents 9th Annual Geminis Give Back

first_imgThe Carma Foundation will host the 9th Annual Geminis Give Back Event on June 12 honoring Socialite, Yogi and Humanitarian Vanessa Bronfman, Businesswoman and Philanthropist Olivia Gaynor-Long, WNBA Super Star Nadine Dormond, Businesswoman and Philanthropist Claudinette Jean, and GrassROOTS Community Foundation’s Janice Johnson Dias PhD.Celebrity friends and lovers of everything Carma will come out to enjoy an evening of exotic bites from Haiti and the Caribbean by Chef the Rose and cocktails by Toast Vodka.This exclusive event will feature the following: Doors open at 7:00PM Infamous Red Carpet from 7:00PM-9:00PM. Award Ceremony hosted by Melky Jean, Hill Harper, and Miguel Nunez 9:00PM Sharp Special Presentation by Wyclef Jean After Party 10:30PM WHEN: June 12, 2016WHERE: Invite Only 63 Gansevoort Street Manhattan, NY 10014Find out more here.last_img read more

FIVE VANCOUVER ARTS HIGHLIGHTS TO WARM YOUR COCKLES THIS WINTER

first_img Login/Register With: Twitter Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Billed as “Europe without the jetlag,” the Cinematheque’s annual celebration of new cinema from the European Union showcases films from 26 countries including… Malta! And good luck finding any of these on Netflix.Nov. 23 to Dec. 4 at the Cinematheque – thecinematheque.ca Advertisement Mademoiselle Paradis screens as part of the Cinematheque’s European Union Film Festival Nov. 23 to Dec. 4. Advertisement Cold, wet weather and cocooning go hand in hand if you live in Vancouver. But the local arts and entertainment community has done its darndest to get you off the couch and kick those winter blahs to the curb. Here are five winter arts highlights to get you through the season.Ballet BC presents Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s NutcrackerLet a little Christmas into your coal black heart when Ballet BC presents the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Nutcracker. You know the one: music by Tchaikovsky, the dance of the sugarplum fairy, people in tights.Dec. 7 to 9 at Queen Elizabeth Theatre21st Annual European Union Film Festival The Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Nutcracker dances across the Queen Elizabeth Theatre stage Dec. 7 to 9.last_img read more

Underwater recovery teams helping with the search for missing twoyearold

first_imgFurther updates will be provided when more information is available. GRANDE PRAIRIE, AB – The Grande Prairie RCMP continue to assist in the search for a two-year-old boy who went missing near the Wapiti River at the Canfor Bridge during the evening of July 6, 2018.The search crews have been using boats, all-terrain vehicles, a helicopter, and people on foot in the search for the missing boy.As of 3:30 p.m. Tuesday the boy has not been located and RCMP Underwater Recovery Team (URT) members from Saskatchewan and Manitoba have arrived to assist in the search and recovery efforts. URT members are searching all probable areas using sonar and physical dives along the river.last_img

Cape Breton coal mine cited for breaking reporting rules in massive cavein

HALIFAX — Officials at an undersea Cape Breton coal mine broke a provincial regulation by not reporting a massive roof cave-in until government inspectors showed up 15 days after the first rock crashed down, according to provincial documents citing the firm for contravening rules last fall.Documents obtained through freedom-of-information legislation outline the inspections, citations and fines imposed on the Donkin mine, prompting safety experts to ask questions about how the mine is being run, two years after the shafts were re-opened by Kameron Coal.The mine, which has tunnels extending under the Atlantic Ocean, recently resumed limited production after the province suspended operations following six cave-ins in four months.The first cave-in occurred Sept. 18, and initially went unreported, according to the documents drafted by provincial inspectors.The managers of the Donkin, N.S., colliery also didn’t initially report a second, Oct. 1 cave-in until provincial officials arrived two days later, the documents say.According to the reports, the inspectors asked a series of questions on the morning of Oct. 3 before learning the extent of the damage in two incidents of tonnes of roof falling as a system of bolts gave way.The inspectors write that they were told by the senior vice president of operations that no operations were under way at the mine because a belt drive was being set up and extra roof support was being added.“When questioned as to the reason for the installation … we were informed that two roof falls … had occurred in the No. 1 entry of the North Bleeder panel,” they wrote in their report.The documents say both collapses had spanned the entire six-metre width of a passage, as slabs of rock fell and left a ceiling gap up to almost four metres deep.The first rock fall ran over 18 metres along the underground roadway, while the second was about a third of the length of a football field.The documents say the inspectors also learned of two more roof falls at intersections of the mine, but details aren’t provided of their severity.The delay in reporting the Sept. 18 roof fall resulted in a citation for contravention of s. 32.1(f) of the province’s underground mining regulations, which require a report within 24 hours of an unplanned roof fall that results in conditions that include a blockage of the mine roadway, a disruption of work for more than an hour, and/or an impairment of ventilation in the mine.“This reporting had not been carried out prior to the inspection,” says the compliance order issued on Oct. 11. “The employer did provide notification, after being directed to do so by the (Department of) Labour and Advanced Education, outside the 24 hours reporting period.”The underground mining regulations were revised prior to the opening of the Kameron underground mine, the first coal mine in decades in Nova Scotia, and as a result there is limited local, independent expertise on the safety issues involved.However, Tracy Strombo, a former chief accident investigator for the State of Kentucky, read the regulation and the safety reports and said he would characterize the rock falls reported as “massive failure” of the mine plan to secure the roof — known in Canada as a “ground plan.”“It looks to me like it should have been reported immediately,” he said, noting that it appears to be the kind of roof falls that interfere with ventilation and impede traffic in a mine.Tony Oppegard, a Kentucky-based lawyer who represents miners in safety cases, said roof falls are the No. 1 cause of death in underground American coal mines.“Not reporting major roof falls, that’s a red flag. Why would you not report them? The law is pretty clear,” said Oppegard, who has also worked for the United States mine safety regulator.The company was not fined for the failure to report.However, it was fined $2,000 for an accumulation of coal dust and $2,000 for failing to implement the original roof control plan in a way that “may have provided an indication that the roof strata were exhibiting signs of potential failure.”Kameron Coal, a subsidiary of a U.S.-based Cline Mining Corp., declined to specifically comment on why it didn’t report the cave-ins until the inspectors arrived, though the safety reports indicate they had been taking measures to shore up the roof in the areas of the collapse.The firm sent an email attributed to Shannon Campbell, Kameron’s vice president of project development, that said the company is working closely with the inspectors to resolve the issue.“Some (compliance) orders have required us to develop more robust programs such as the ground control procedure,” he wrote, referring to the technical term for the plan to ensure mine roof is safe. “In close consultation with provincial regulators, international experts were brought to site to advise local management of recommended changes to reduce the likelihood of recurrence. This, along with the installation of substantial additional ground support in other areas of the mine, are steps taken to continuously improve.”The documents obtained through freedom of information indicate that there were problems in the mine roofs that went back to the summer.A July 12 inspection report cites the mine as lacking some roof support in the “North Bleeder panel,” the same panel where the large cave-ins later occurred. “Several instances were noted where rock had fallen from the roof in pieces that were big enough to injure personnel,” says the report.A Sept. 4 inspection report notes the roof was breaking in places where the walls met the roof “at numerous locations,” adding this was occurring in areas “where roof screening was not providing full coverage.”The records say that after discovering the two collapses on Oct. 3, the inspectors ordered the mines to “delay recommencing work” and asked for an engineer-approved diagnosis of the problem and a set of recommendations to prevent it from occurring again.Scott Nauss, the province’s director of inspection compliances, said the department was aware of the summer and early fall problems.“From the inspection reports that I’ve read … it appears that there were some warning signs in various parts of the mine that the roof was not self supporting so that there needs to be roof bolts and screens to maintain the structural integrity of the roof.” He said after the failure to report the cave-ins of Sept. 18 and Oct. 1, “we took that very seriously … this was a clear violation and we treated it as such.”However, six days after the Oct. 3 discovery of the cave-ins, the Labour Department allowed the mine to resume operations on Oct. 9.The province’s mining inspection team approved the “corrections” made in the area of the collapses, which included more supporting systems and more monitoring of those supports, said Nauss.Almost 11 weeks later, while the mine was on a Christmas break, there was another cave-in on Dec. 18, then on Dec. 28 there was another collapse in the same North Bleeder panel as the fall incidents, said Nauss, noting they were reported.As with the earlier collapses, no workers were injured. The mine’s licence to operate was suspended after the Dec. 28 incident, with a requirement that the operators provide a revised plan for their roof support system.However, Gary Taje, international staff representative for the United Mine Workers of America in Canada, said the company’s failure to report when the first major cave-in came in September remains “a major problem.”“It’s not a simple little rock fall in unsupported ground. This is supported ground which has been opened fairly recently,” he said in an interview.“Rock falls of this nature in a developing mine are not common at all … that’s an awful lot of material falling down at one time.”The union representative says there’s evidence the province should have called for an entire re-design of the roof control system after the collapses of Sept. 18 and Oct. 1.“Something different has to be come up with. The roof bolting they were doing wasn’t working,” he said of the mine, which his organization has been attempting to unionize.In late January, the province allowed the mine to resume working on one panel, and it is now awaiting a fresh plan from the company on how it intends to ensure roof safety.The latest area being mined is just 480 metres in a “controlled, low risk” portion of the workings, a small fraction of the area mined to date, said Nauss.He said the seams of the mine shafts will be cut at different angles to increase wall strength, longer bolts will be used, and there will be more monitoring of the effectiveness of the roof support system.Inspections will go from monthly to bi-weekly, the Labour Department said in a follow up email.However, Strombo suggests the province should also consider stepping up inspections even further in light of the events of the recent months.“If it were assigned to me … I would go to the mine at least on a weekly basis and observe what they’re doing,” he said.— Follow (at)mtuttoncporg on TwitterMichael Tutton, The Canadian Press read more

Locals react to the arrival of the Royal baby

The newest member of Britain’s Royal family is finally here.Early Saturday morning, Clarence House, the official residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced on Twitter that Kate delivered a healthy baby girl.While the birth of any baby is a cause of celebration. the Royal baby is the first princess to be born into the family in over 2 decades.Locals were excited for the birth of a Princess.In honour of the baby’s birth — both Niagara Falls and the CN Tower were lit up pink on Saturday.

DR Congo UN mission blames militia leader for attacks gross rights violations

“Witnesses and complainants have accused Commander Bosco Ntaganda of committing gross human rights abuses. He is charged, among other things, with the summary executions of two people in Bunia in March 2003, kidnappings, rapes, barbaric acts on civilian populations, daily extortion of people’s money and items in Ituri, illegal levying of taxes and other offences,” MONUC said.The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and MONUC head, William Lacy Swing, yesterday called in the leader of the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) militia, Thomas Lubanga, and demanded that he put an end to Mr. Ntaganda’s attacks on UN forces and local civilians.Mr. Lubanga appointed Mr. Ntaganda UPC’s Army Chief of Staff on 8 December 2003.UPC militiamen opened fire on UN Pakistani peacekeepers in Nizi, 28 kilometres north of Bunia, yesterday evening. UN helicopters and peacekeepers in Ituri were also attacked by the UPC at Drodro and Iga-Barrière on 19 and 20 January, MONUC said. The 22 militiamen MONUC arrested said Mr. Ntaganda had ordered the attack at Iga-Barrière.MONUC and the Ituri Interim Institutions found underground UPC detention cells in several areas used for torturing civilians, the Mission said.Mr. Swing asked Mr. Lubanga to condemn clearly and officially any acts of violence against MONUC and to dissolve any institutions besides the Interim Special Assembly, which is recognized by the DRC’s Transitional Government and the UN.The Mission pledged that it would continue working to protect the civilian population and carry out disarmament activities in Ituri. Plans are currently underway for MONUC to deploy to other parts of the troubled region. read more

The Patriots Are Almost Certainly Not Going 160

When do we get to stop jabbering about the Patriots? Last winter, the New England Patriots marched through the playoffs and won the Super Bowl. Then we spent all spring and summer worrying about whether their quarterback, Tom Brady, had knowingly deflated footballs — and then we had to start the conversation over again when his four-game suspension was overturned. And now that football is actually being played, the Pats are still on everyone’s minds: At 3-0, with the NFL’s second-best SRS rating,1SRS is the Simple Rating System, Pro-Football-Reference.com’s way of adjusting a team’s average scoring margin for the strength of its schedule. (The upstart Falcons are No. 1.) they’ve started so hot as to inspire speculation about another 16-0 season.But the Patriots media frenzy may have finally swallowed itself when Skip Bayless was asked on Tuesday’s “First Take” about New England’s chances of going undefeated and said it was “extremely probable” that the Patriots would go 16-0.We touched on this during a segment of our sports podcast, Hot Takedown (Pats chatter begins at the 7:00 mark), but the notion that it’s “extremely probable” for any team to go 16-0 after three weeks of the season was too absurd for us to confine our dissent to a podcast.Let’s get this out of the way: It’s extremely improbable that New England will win each of its remaining 13 games. According to our Elo ratings (a system for estimating each NFL team’s strength at any given moment), New England has only a 4.4 percent probability of navigating the rest of its schedule without a loss. In other words, if you played out 100 versions of the 2015 season, the Pats would fail to go undefeated in about 96 of them. Bayless is holding out for our real-life timeline to be one of the four leftovers.It’s easy to see why the Patriots are so unlikely to win out. They aren’t even favorites in all of their remaining contests — Elo says there’s a 53 percent chance they lose to Denver on the road in late November. And among the games in which they are favored, they’re far from guaranteed victors. Nine teams have a greater than 20 percent chance of knocking them off — there’s a 42 percent chance they don’t even emerge from their bye week and make it to 4-0 against the Cowboys on Oct. 11. (Granted, Elo is unaware that Dallas will be without QB Tony Romo for that game, but a Romo adjustment would still leave New England with roughly a one-third chance of being upset.)This year’s Patriots team is really good. Through three weeks, the 2015 edition has a slightly better Elo rating (1698) than the 2007 version that went 16-0 had (1697) at the same point in the season.2If this sounds contrary to what I said at the 9:05 mark of this week’s Hot Takedown, it’s because I goofed. There I was referring to the fact that, in the subset of our Elo simulations where New England went 16-0 this season, its final Elo rating of 1820 was slightly lower than the 1832 mark the Pats had after the 2007 regular season. But that’s all down the road — as of now, three weeks in, the 2015 Patriots’ Elo is slightly higher. But the 2007 Patriots were arguably the best team in pro football history (to the extent such a thing exists), and they still required a great deal of luck in close wins in the second half of their schedule.It’s very hard to go undefeated, which is a big part of why streaks capture our imagination. If it were as easy as Bayless seems to think it is, we wouldn’t care as much. Read more: The Best NFL Teams Of All Time, According To Elo read more

UK weather Britain set to be warmer than Athens and Madrid as

first_imgAfter temperatures plummeted to below freezing last week, it looked like Britain was on course for a white Christmas.But this week, the country is expecting unseasonable weather – making some parts warmer than Madrid or Athens.  Tuesday is set to be dull and overcast with areas of fog during the morning lifting to low cloud through the day. Meanwhile Wednesday is due to be windy, but largely dull and overcast, with further outbreaks of rain in the north and drier weather in the south, according to Meteogroup UK.  Frosty morning in north London, December 5 2016 But forecasters say the warm weather will bring heavy rain and high wind speeds in the west, while the rest of the country will also see some light rain.  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Incoming cloud is due to trap warmth and temperatures are expected to rise to 15C in some parts  a massive leap from the -9.7C recorded last week. The UK average for December last year was just over 5C in the south and 3C in the north.  A frosty start to the week in north London, but the cold will give way to warmer conditions this weekCredit:REX Temperatures dropped to minus 9 C in some parts last week Temperatures dropped to minus 9 C in some parts last weeklast_img read more

How a citizen protest movement is stopping evictions in Spain

first_imgTHE WALLS OF the apartment are cracked and patched with damp, but the faded family photographs of Maria Luisa Brana, her husband and their four children, are still hanging.Eight months ago the five of them – all jobless, like millions in Spain’s recession – faced being thrown out for failing to pay their mortgage.Unlike many families, they have beaten the odds.With legal help from the PAH, a citizen protest movement fighting against a wave of evictions across Spain, they managed to get their order to leave cancelled.“No one else would listen to me. You feel powerless. At the same time you know that you owe that money and you feel guilty,” said Maria Luisa, a 52-year-old with grey hair and a piercing gaze.The campaign provided legal support and persuaded the bank to let the family stay in their home and pay rent.Maria Luisa bought the apartment in Villaverde, a working class suburb of Madrid, in 2005 during Spain’s building boom.Three years later, when the boom went bust, the family was all unemployed and Maria Luisa had €140,000 of debt. Their home was seized by the bank.She recalls the “shame and anger” she felt as she and her husband, an unemployed cook, and all her grown-up children feared ending up in the street.“I am not a delinquent,” said Maria Luisa, a former food-handler. “I didn’t pay because I was poor.”Like many homeowners facing eviction in Spain, she turned in desperation to the citizen-run Platform for Mortgage Victims (PAH).She now lives on unemployment benefits of €420 a month, “plus what my father-in-law gives,” she told AFP.The family pays a social housing rate of €350 a month secured for them by the PAH, with the right to inhabit the apartment for seven years.“It’s still not much relief. If I get one month behind with the rent, they’ll take the apartment,” she said.Economic worries aside, she had a heart attack a few weeks ago.A member of the Mortgage Victims’ Platform (PAH) waits for police to come to a flat earlier this month (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de OlzaUnder current Spanish law, a bank can pursue a borrower for the remaining balance of a loan if the value of the seized property does not cover it.“Spain has one of the most unjust laws, which leaves people totally unprotected with their mortgage,” said Ada Colau, a spokeswoman for the PAH.“People did not get into debt on a whim,” but were encouraged to by public policies that tolerated banks offering easy loans during the construction boom, she said.Judicial authorities say banks in Spain have issued 350,000 eviction orders against private or commercial mortgage-holders since 2008. About half are estimated to have been carried out, according to media reports.A woman waits for the police to come for her eviction in Madrid earlier this month (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)PAH this month succeeded in getting parliament to consider a new law, backed by a petition with 1.4 million signatures, to end evictions and let insolvent homeowners write off their debts by surrendering their homes.Over the past four years the movement has campaigned by turning up in crowds outside the homes of evictees and sitting on their doorsteps to try to stop police and bailiffs throwing them out.It says it has blocked nearly 600 evictions – in various cases, like the Branas’, securing a deal for them to stay and pay rent.Joining the rebellion, unions of locksmiths and firemen have started refusing to help bailiffs open the insolvent homeowners’ doors.“We were leaving families with children in the street. We ended up acting as executioners,” David Ormaechea, president of the Locksmiths Union, told AFP.This month in the northwestern city of La Coruna, firefighters were called to help evict an 85-year-old woman who had defaulted on her rent.A crowd of protestors gathered outside the apartment to block the eviction. When the firefighters arrived they refused to open the door and some of them joined in the protest.Fire brigades in other regions have since followed their example.“The only thing we do is help citizens,” said Pedro Campos, a fireman in Madrid.“We only enter a home when there is danger inside. Getting a woman of 85 out of her home is not a situation of danger.”- © AFP, 2013Read: Europe-wide report says austerity is not working > Read: Shatter says Troika deal will not increase repossessions >last_img read more

From childhood abuse to absolute war with Billy Walsh Claressa Shields has

first_img Saturday 13 Apr 2019, 12:01 PM By Gavan Casey Shields has said her piece on Hammer at this stage, vowing to “knock her the fuck out”. She has utterly revelled in the conflict.After Saturday night, she wants more, and not just for herself:We need those Laila Ali versus Anne Wolfe fights, you know? We need to add more of that. Me and Hammer, that’s one. But we need that Katie Taylor versus Amanda Serrano fight. We need all the top girls to start facing each other.“Part of the reason why women’s boxing is in such an exciting place is the fact that we’re starting to get on TV, and thank God for Showtime taking me on because it opened up so many other doors for me. I’ve fought on Showtime, DAZN and HBO — I don’t know if there’s any other fighter who’s done that so far.“That, for me, is a big deal. Women’s boxing was never able to get on TV, no matter how good the fighters were. And that, to me, shows how great I am.“People are like, ‘Oh, you were just born at the right time.’“No,” she adds firmly.“There’s a lot of girls that came up who were dominant in their weight classes, and I’m not going to say they weren’t good enough to get put on TV, but the promoters didn’t want to get behind them and take a chance on them. And there’s gotta be something different about me if the promoters are taking chances on me, making me the main event — the headliner — and putting guys under me on shows.“There’s gotta be something different about me, and it can’t just be, ‘Oh, she won two Olympic gold medals’. A lot of women have gone to the Olympics in 2012 or 2016 and won gold medals. To get the publicity that I’m getting, I bring something different to the table.And I think, until now, we haven’t seen the big fights because girls aren’t going to put their unbeaten records on the line against a risky opponent while not getting on TV and not getting paid.“Like, really, in women’s boxing — at least before now — when you have a loss on your record, it kind of makes you look bad because it’s like, ‘Well, who did you lose to? Where can we watch the fight?’“Some girls don’t even put their fights or even their training on YouTube or social media, because if somebody figures you out and you lose the ’0′ on your record, your stock value goes down.“So I think that’s why a lot of women have thought: ‘I’m not going to take a fight where I could possibly lose not only my ’0′, but my title, while I’m not getting paid any money and I’m not getting on TV!’“But it has changed, or it’s changing. Now, I think they’re starting to be like: ‘Yeah, let’s take this risk now because there is reward’.“Whereas before, for one fight, my team and I went 0-18 looking for an opponent! And when you think about the talent pool within women’s boxing compared to the men’s, 0-18… Look, not a lot of girls have told me ‘yes’.“But you don’t have to call me to ask me if I’ll fight this person or that person — the answer is always ‘yes’”, Shields laughs. “I’m ready to fight whoever and claim whoever’s titles and add more to my legacy.”The respect for Women Boxing is over due. I love a woman that can whoop some ass, yes lord!@Claressashields Vs @LadyHammer1. It’s going down tomorrow on @showtimeboxing so tune in or be there to witness these two ladies put all their belts on the line. May the best Woman WIN! pic.twitter.com/hW7on7L1im— Deontay Wilder (@BronzeBomber) April 13, 2019 Saginaw Street, Flint, Michigan. Source: Tony FaiolaTHEY SAY THERE’S a difference between tough and being ‘Flint-tough’.The birthplace of motor group GM and a former car-manufacturing powerhouse, the city of Flint, Michigan, flanks the river after which it is named, sitting about an hour’s drive from Detroit and the same distance from Lake Huron depending on which way you turn.Its people have long been forced to prove their fortitude. The population of Flint has halved to less than 100,000 since 1960, and continues to drop by the year; the workforce at GM — formerly the chief driver of employment for ‘Flintstones’ — has decreased literally tenfold from its 1978 high of 80,000.Since the turn of the millennium, the city has twice plunged into states of financial emergency. Between 2010 and 2012, it had the highest violent crime rate of any American city with 100,000 or more inhabitants. In 2016, it was technically America’s poorest city, US census data showing 45% of its total inhabitants and 58% of its under-18s to be living below the poverty line. Workers wait to hand out water to Flint residents from a Community Point of Distibution site at St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church on 5 August, 2016 Source: SIPA USA/PA ImagesMore recently, Flint has sprung to international prominence for a water crisis which has resulted in 12 citizens dying from Legionnaires’ disease, the city’s insufficiently treated drinking water contaminated with lead from the pipes through which it flows.Four city officials have since resigned from their posts, four more have been fired, and there have been 15 criminal indictments on top of multiple lawsuits filed against the city.Then-US presidential candidate Donald Trump graced Flint with his presence in September 2016, taking in the city’s water plant and a local African-American church.In the latter, he was interrupted by the pastor who reminded him that she had invited him there to speak about Flint and its Flint-tough citizens, not fire barbs at Hilary Clinton.In the former, he promised to fix the city’s water crisis, joking: 7 Comments Short URL In Atlantic City on Saturday night, Shields can bolster that legacy significantly in what will be only her ninth professional contest.After that, she is intent only on fastening her claim to being The GWOAT.“I’m a two-weight champion at 24 and I could become a four-division champion by the end of this year. I could go down to 154 and I could go back up to 175. I know I’m definitely going to be a three-division champion this year, because after I beat Hammer and become undisputed champion at 160, I want to go down to 154.“And whatever or whoever they decide to put in front of me, I’ll be ready.”And that’s why they say there’s a difference between being tough and being Flint-tough. 29,330 Views It used to be that cars were made in Flint and you couldn’t drink the water in Mexico. Now cars are made in Mexico, and you can’t drink the water in Flint. That’s terrible.Two years and seven months later, the crisis continues. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced criminal proceedings against six Flint city officials last October. Source: Jake MayAnd so, contrary to the old Robert Schuller quote, tough times do last. They have in Flint, at least. But in keeping with the same quote, the city’s tough people have endured too.There is a big difference between wanting to fight and needing to fight, and in a watertight contest it is usually the boxer with the deeper well from which to draw who has their hand hauled upwards when all is said and done.Sure enough, Flint has birthed fighters such as the Byrd siblings, two of whom — Chris and Tracy — boast a plethora of honours, as well as the Dirrell brothers who have knocked around at the top end of the super-middleweight division for years. The late Tony Burton, who starred as ‘Duke’ Evers in the first six Rocky films, also hailed from Flint, and as well as being a two-time all-state football player was a Michigan Golden Gloves heavyweight champion.But atop the pile of her punching predecessors from Flint stands Claressa Shields, aka ‘The GWOAT’, or ‘Greatest Woman Of All Time’. Unified middleweight world champion Claressa Shields. Source: AP/PA ImagesThe dust has settled in 2019 to unveil the indisputable truth that Shields and Ireland’s greatest, Katie Taylor, have become the chief catalysts in a culture shift within the overall sport of boxing; their post-Rio Olympics arrival in the pro game, along with the influx of their fellow former amateur talents, has seen the male and female codes begin to interweave, the latter having finally been identified by promoters and TV executives as an opportunity rather than an opt-out.Here’s another truth, though: Shields and Taylor are female boxing’s Present but only one of them is also The Future. Taylor, though still only 32, will likely run out of road before she runs out of diesel; the Irish icon has maybe eight to 10 major stops left on her career itinerary and Shields, eight years her junior, will take the wheel from there, steering their sport to loftier heights still.But most extraordinary about female boxing’s future flagship fighter is her past, and specifically how Claressa Shields overcame being dealt one of life’s most rotten hands by putting her own to good use.Afflicted by a serious speech impediment, Shields didn’t start talking until she was about five. By that stage, her father Clarence ‘Bo’ Shields had been in prison for three years on a breaking-and-entering conviction. She wouldn’t meet him again for another four.Shields’ mother, Marcella, abused alcohol and struggled to hold down a job. Marcella loved her children, of course, but they were often left to fend for themselves for days on end: Shields and her younger sister would sometimes wake at dawn and search for their mother to no avail. Shields would often forego food to feed her younger siblings; she would forfeit the couch and sleep on the floor so that one of them wouldn’t have to.When she was five and scarcely able to speak, Shields was raped and sexually abused repeatedly by a male acquaintance of her mother’s.During the 2012 Essence Magazine interview with journalist Lisa Armstrong in which Shields first spoke publicly of her having been raped, she posited that her speech impediment rendered her a target for these acts of pure evil; how would she speak up when she could barely speak at all?When she did try to verbalise to her mother the horrors inflicted upon her at the age of five, it fell on deaf ears: Shields was 17 before Marcella came to terms with this darkest of realities. There was a profuse and tearful apology from Mom to her daughter. Seven years later, their bond could scarcely be more watertight.But back when Shields was five, it was aunt Mary who listened. And then watched: pointing at a doll, Shields was able to communicate the crimes that had been committed against her.Soon afterwards she moved in with her grandmother, Joanne, a former GM employee and the unconquerable force whom Shields would later tell people “stood at 5’10′ but with a 6’2′ attitude”.‘Granny’ Joanne was recovering from cancer when Shields arrived on her doorstep, bags in tow. There was a symbiosis to their arrangement: Shields aided Joanne in her physical recovery, and Joanne inspired Shields to free her mind of the cruelty that had been inflicted upon her. Crucially, Joanne and her quiet abode afforded Shields the time to begin to find her words.When she was 11 and back living with her mother for a stint, Shields, troubled in school, convinced her father — long removed from prison by this stage — to let her take up boxing.The motion was passed via a family vote, but ‘Bo’ was initially reticent having himself previously graced the underground prizefighting circuit under the nickname ‘Cannonballs’, by all accounts to significant success.Though he felt his daughter was “too pretty” to box — this was the first time Shields had ever considered herself pretty and it still pissed her off to no end — Bo eventually parted with the few bob and signed his daughter up for boxing lessons at Berston Field House on Flint’s Saginaw Street.It was there, under the watch of trainer Jason Crutchfield in the basement gym, where a terrible beauty was born.*** Claressa Shields (R) in action against Hannah Gabriels in 2018. Source: Carlos OsorioThe phone rings sometime in March.The caller’s area code is +1 (561), under which it says ‘Palm Beach County, Florida’.The caller is Claressa Shields, who lives and trains out of the Sunshine State but will soon head for the snow-capped mountains of Colorado Springs, and then back again, to prepare for the most significant fight in the history of women’s boxing to date.She is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, and the first American boxer — male or female — to win consecutive Olympic gold medals. She is a two-time amateur world champion. She is a two-weight and twice-unified professional world champion. She is the reigning Ring Magazine Women’s Fighter of the Year, the reigning Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) Women’s Fighter of the Year, and many — including the BWAA — currently consider her to be the finest female fighter on the planet. She is the first woman to headline a boxing card on premium TV in her homeland, and all but one entry from her eight-fight revolution as a professional has been televised.Soon, her story will pivot to the big screen: director Barry Jenkins, whose 2017 film Moonlight won the Academy Award for Best Picture, is currently scripting a biopic based on her life.When Shields was 17, she was paraded through the streets of Flint and given the freedom of her home city.Now 24, she carries that city on her back, a sport on her shoulders, and has the world at her feet.“Oh, man, it’s a big difference, being from Flint, Michigan,” Shields proudly tells The42. “Girls know that when they face me, I’m different to anybody they’ve ever faced. I’m not just tough. I’m mentally tough; I’m tougher than people give me credit for.“But to be a woman and box the way that I do, it’s a blessing and it’s a curse at the same time.It’s always been hard for me to get opponents. I haven’t just been avoided in the pros — it began in the amateurs. When I was 13 or 14 years old I was stopping girls, and when the Silver Gloves tournament would come around, my opponents would pull out; we’d sign in, we’d weigh in, and then my opponents’ families would get word from somebody, or somebody would show them some film, and they would pull their daughter — or whoever they had fighting against me — right out of the tournament.“That was going on when I was 13 right up until I was 16 years old,” Shields adds. “I started getting fights in the women’s ranks but then I was taking them out easily also, so it’s just been that way for me since I was a kid.“I didn’t really talk much, though, in the amateurs. I started doing most of my talking in 2016. Before that, all I wanted to do was box and win. I was really quiet and kept to myself.”Right up until her early teens, that quietness was dictated by Shields’ inability to clearly articulate her thoughts.There were too many doing laps of her young mind for her to relay at once, for starters. It caused a kind of neurological backlog, affecting her speech and, in turn, accentuating an already inherent fury.School was a nightmare. Shields was tall and wafer-thin, sporting what she describes as “nappy hair”. Her fellow students would hassle and harry her, rip up her papers and shove her to the ground.She recalls a tale from her pre-teens when she was at the end of her tether. A female schoolmate walked past her and pulled her hair. Adhering to conventional wisdom, Shields tried to ignore it, bowing her head and continuing with her business. But the unsatisfied prankster princess on this occasion came back for seconds.Poor call.Shields lit her up. Bish, bash, bosh. Boomf. Don’t bother with a count.Nobody ever again pulled Claressa Shields’ nappy hair upon her return to school from a brief suspension. But an incident during which she threw a chair at a teacher dictated that there were anger management classes from fifth grade. Then came speech therapy.“And really, the speech class wasn’t a speech class,” she says. “It was a ‘thinking’ class. It was like, ‘think before you talk’. And I was always talking before the thought in my head had been fully processed.“I used to stutter really, really bad. I stutter sometimes now, but it used to be way worse. People would be like, ‘Just spit it out!’ Because it would truly take me so long to even say one sentence.“I feel all of the different countries and people that I’ve been around — just boxing, period — helped me to open up and deal with my anger better.“But once you know what you want to say, and you mean what you say, it also kind of gets easier to say it.So, I think that when I first had my speech impediment, I was a really angry kid. I had so many things going on at home and at school, and so many thoughts were becoming clumped together, I just wanted to spit everything out but I couldn’t communicate it.She had found her fists in a school hallway and was slowly beginning to find her feet outside of it. Within months, Shields was channelling that thunder into a pair of mitts, alleviating her pain within the more controlled environs of the gym at Berston Field House. Claressa Shields in preparation for her undisputed middleweight world championship clash with Christina Hammer in Atlantic City. Source: AP/PA ImagesShe would discover, too, that the pen was a mighty tool.And then there was the almighty man above, to whom she was introduced by a divine presence in her life on the ground floor.“To overcome any kind of abuse — sexual abuse, being neglected by family members or by your parents — I believe you do it through the grace of God,” Shields says.“You know, my grandmother raised me along with my mom, and she instilled a lot of things in me. She instilled that toughness, that believing in myself. But she was also that person to talk to; she was there when I needed to talk to someone. Just being around her, I learned so much.“Some of the things she said to me still live with me to this day. I try to follow her legacy the best way that I can. But she taught me about God, also. She took me to Church and she tried to talk me into getting baptised when I was about eight or nine. She told me that getting baptised was like riding a motorcycle down the aisle of the church. And I was like, ‘Oh, yeah! I wanna do that!’“And I ended up not doing it because I saw somebody get baptised and I thought: ‘Aw, hell, no! I ain’t letting no pastor put me under no water!’“Still, to this day, I’m scared to swim and scared to put my head underwater,” Shields laughs.“When I did get baptised when I was 13, it kind of just changed everything for me. My grandmother was a fan of me boxing, and she pushed me in that regard. But not only in boxing: she pushed me in school, she pushed me in athletics — I played basketball, football, volleyball; I ran track and I ran cross-country in high school.I’ve gotta say, it was through prayer and boxing that I overcame some of the things from my childhood. Boxing allowed me to release a lot of stress that I had. I mean, you couldn’t imagine how many days went by where I wanted to punch someone in the face. But obviously I couldn’t — I would have wound up in serious trouble. So being able to go to the gym and relieve some of that frustration was really important.“Even going for a run relieves so much stress.“Boxing”, Shields says, “and God putting his hand on me and trying to lead me the right way, and me trying my best to follow him — that’s the only way I made it through it.“Oh, and through writing!” she adds. “I have like nine diaries that I wrote from eighth grade ’til 12th grade.“If I wanted to say something bad about you, I would write it in my diary. After that, I would have no feelings for you because everything I wanted to say, I already would have written it down.” Shields speaking at a press conference in New York ahead of the Hammer fight. Source: Bebeto MatthewsIn 2009, when Shields was 14 and had been boxing for just over two years, it was announced by the International Olympic Committee that women’s boxing would be included in the London Games in 2012. Shields’ trainer, Jason Crutchfield, told her that she could win the whole thing.When she was 16, she saw the man who had raped her for the final time. He was walking his dog. He looked at her. She looked at him.Shields resisted the urge to give him the beating he deserved, deciding he would never exert control over her again.Were it not for that decision, she might never have made it to London a year later where, as a 17-year-old high school student, she climbed atop the podium clasping her first Olympic gold medal.***Despite her prodigious talent, Shields’ road towards a defence of her crown at Rio 2016 was scarcely smooth.When it converged with that of a man from County Wexford, she very nearly took the next exit.Despite her best efforts to stifle them, Billy Walsh’s name evokes a lengthy giggle from Shields, whose American team he took to the Rio Games following his acrimonious departure from the Irish Elite setup months prior. Former Ireland head coach Billy Walsh took charge of Shields and her team-mates before Rio 2016. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHOIt’s put to Shields that in the 2016 Loosehorse/UTV documentary Emigration Nation — filmed some six months after Walsh’s arrival in the States — she spoke of a dispute with Walsh over music at the USA’s Colorado Springs High-Performance base after which she found herself hoping that the US Boxing powers would “send him back to Ireland”.“What?” she asks, some two-and-a-bit years later. “Did I? Ohhhh… Okay…“Well…” Shields sighs, “Coach Billy got a weird way of introducing himself to people.“He kind of came over here and I don’t know who gave him our background stories or if he just had his own impression of us, but he was just like, you know… I think because I was an Olympic gold medalist and I had seen the promised land, he felt he had to be extra hard on me. But he didn’t have to be, because I was the hardest worker and the most determined on the team.He came and just forced the whole Ireland culture, the whole Ireland style of boxing on us, and I was just like, ‘I don’t wanna box like Katie Taylor’. Like, I love the way she boxes, but that’s not what I prefer. I was thinking: ‘What I do works. Now, I’m willing to learn whatever it is you want to teach me, but I’m only going to use what I feel is beneficial to my style.’“There are so many different ways to be a world champion or to be an Olympic gold medalist, but he tried to force that Irish style — or his style — on us at first,” Shields adds.“I was kind of thinking, ‘Look, this can be a 50:50 thing; if we meet each other halfway, we can figure this thing out.’But Coach Billy was like, ‘It’s either my way or the highway’. And I was like, ‘Well, Coach Billy, I want you to know that I like driving cars, and I will get my ass on the highway!’She laughs for a few seconds, then continues.Listen… We had our differences. We bumped heads a lot. Like, those first few months… Wow. I had so many meetings with USA Boxing, I had one-on-one meetings with Coach Billy, I had meetings with him and other people and it was extremely frustrating.“It was not working out. I was living at the Olympic training centre and there were times when I said, ‘Look, I’m gonna move back home. If we don’t fix this, I’m leaving!’“And then, finally, I think he saw that I was really about what I was talking about; he saw that I was for real, that I really believed and knew that I could win the Olympics again; that I was a hard worker and that I pushed myself; that weight was never a problem for me.And actually, I’m happy that he taught us some of the things that he did. For example, the culture that he brought over from Ireland where everybody on the team becomes friends despite our differences, despite us fighting each other before — that was him. He brought that ‘we’re all friends’ type of culture; he brought activities that we did together daily or weekly, and it definitely made us closer as a team. So I’m happy that he did come over and that he introduced that new culture to us.“I’m glad, also, that he kind of lightened up!” Shields laughs. “I would never try to tell him what to do or try to do his job, but if he was the ‘captain’ in that team environment, I was the co-captain: those athletes were about to go home — they didn’t want to be there with all of the changes he was bringing — and it was me who told them, ‘No, we’re going to figure this out.’“Because nobody was trying to listen to Coach Billy at the beginning. Like, it was hard. Man, it was tough. But when he couldn’t get through to an athlete, I was the one who talked to the athlete. And I didn’t get paid for that! I only got paid [via funding] for participating.“But we found a way to make things work, and obviously I won my second Olympic gold medal in 2016.And I did learn some things from him: I know how to do a check-hook like Katie Taylor if I ever need to do one.“Listen, Coach Billy and I had it out. We had it out for sure. But we have a great relationship now. Every time I see him, it’s nothing but laughs,” Shields gushes. “I mean literally: we’ll laugh about the hard times, the good times, and we have a good time now.So I’m thankful for Coach Billy Walsh… Even though he did get on my damn nerves! https://the42.ie/4440697 From childhood abuse to absolute war with Billy Walsh, Claressa Shields has earned this the hard way Rape survivor, Olympic champion, ‘The GWOAT’: Claressa Shields was dealt one of life’s most rotten hands, so she put her own to good use. Shields celebrates her second Olympic gold medal in 2016. Source: SIPA USA/PA ImagesIt was over three years before she first encountered Walsh when Shields became familiar with the great Irish fighter whose check-hook he would later attempt to add to her artillery.In May 2012, in the Chinese city of Qinhuangdao, the young American learned of her transatlantic equivalent — a woman who she still considers to be her one true peer in female boxing’s highest echelon; one who she now considers a friend.But she wasn’t blown away by Katie Taylor to begin with.“It’s crazy,” Shields muses. “I actually heard about her for the first time when I was 16 years old, going to the World Championships in China. It was the tournament where I lost — it was the only fight I’ve ever lost [against Britain’s Savannah Marshall].All the girls on our USA team were like slobbering over Katie, like, ‘Oh ma Gahd, she’s so good!‘ And I’m watching her fight, and I’m like… ‘I mean, she’s aiite?’“I thought she was all right, but I didn’t really get why my team-mates were slobbering over her. But as the tournament went on, it was like, ‘Damn. This girl is really good.’“And so I did my research, I read up on her, and I saw that she had won the World Championships I don’t know how many times [three by then, soon to be four]. And she got better as the tournament went on. The first day, maybe she was a little bit rusty, but after that you saw her quickness, her strength, and she didn’t care about getting hit but she had good defence. And you had to just be like, ‘Dang’, you know? ‘She’s good.’You know, Katie is… I feel like she’s a great person. I do feel like she’s too quiet. But I’ve had personal conversations with her where we’ve bumped into each other and we’ve spoken briefly. After all of her fights, I always inbox her like, ‘Girl, you did it again!’ And she always responds and we have a laugh or two.“So I would say that we are friends. I love the way she boxes.” Source: Tom Hogan/INPHO Shields and Taylor both hold three of the major belts in their respective divisions, but Shields jokes she’d have to cut off an ass cheek to face the Irish icon. Source: Bebeto Matthews“I really haven’t seen a woman fighter be explosive like that besides myself,” Shields continues. “I’ve seen some good girl boxers, but very few of them are ‘A-plus’ fighters.I’ve seen some A-minuses, and I know some B-plusses who are really good and can come in as the underdog and can win. But Katie Taylor is an A-plus fighter, and I believe she’s a phenomenal person.“Actually, I wish Ireland would find a way for us to be able to watch her documentary [Katie, 2018] in the US! I want to learn more about her and see how she grew up. Because when you read articles and stuff, she’s so short-winded — it’s usually one or two sentences and she’s done,” Shields laughs.But that’s something that you have to learn to love about her: when she speaks, you pay attention. I could say something and people be like, ‘Oh, Claressa’s just talkin’ again’, right? But if Katie says something, it’s like, ‘Oh… She’s speaking. Be quiet and listen.’These aren’t throwaway remarks from Shields. She has a point. Where the reserved Taylor is considered ‘ladylike’ and rarely has a bad word said about her, the American is considered ‘too mouthy’ and is not universally popular even in the country for whom she won two Olympic golds.Shields’ frequent proclamations of her greatness stir a poison in fragile men who still believe oven mitts to be more befitting of a woman than those of the boxing variety, her unrefined joie de vivre and unabashed self-confidence a dagger to the hearts of the miserable.In their droves, they come for her online. They attack her race, her physique, her weight, her looks, her sexuality, her intelligence. Sarah Deming, whose forthcoming novel Gravity is inspired by Shields’ life, recently noted to BoxingScene that the unified middleweight world champion “offends because she so brazenly adopts the cocky heel persona. It’s honestly not different than how Ali offended the conservative white critics.”To Shields’ mind, the vitriol aimed towards her comes with the territory of being an outspoken black woman in 2019. And for the most part, she couldn’t give two hoots about it.“I mean, most of the time, when I tweet or whatever, I’m just having a bit of fun,” she laughs. And then she gets serious.“But if there’s any girl, or anybody, who says I’m not the Greatest Woman of All Time, just get in the ring and beat me. Step me right up.I’m not the kind of person to go off giving opinions — I like to state facts. I’m a two-time Pan-American champion, two-time Olympic gold medalist, two-time world champion in the amateurs, two-division world champion in the pros. That’s not me bragging — those are facts! You know what I’m saying? I’m all that and a bag of chips… I’m all that and a bag of chips and a Coke!“Look, you don’t have to agree with everything I say, but I think we can all agree that I’m a great fighter. If I was a man, I would still be a great fighter.“And I see myself taking women’s boxing to a height that it’s never been at before,” she says. “In fact, I feel like I’ve already done it — me and some of the girls that are doing things now. I feel like we’ve already taken women’s boxing to the highest level that it’s ever been at. But it still needs to get higher.” Shields speaks with kids in Atlantic City. Source: AP/PA ImagesOn Saturday night, Shields will elevate her craft to its greatest height yet when she faces the also-undefeated Christina Hammer in what has been described, probably rightly, as the biggest women’s boxing match of all time.In a winner-takes-all headline event live on Showtime, Shields and Kazakh-born German Hammer will slug it out for the undisputed world middleweight championship in Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall, where the victor will become only the second-ever unequivocal ruler of her division in female prizefighting after reigning undisputed welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus.Shields has channelled Ali in the build-up. Hammer has channelled another iconic cultural figure, Regina George from Mean Girls, responding to Shields’ jibes about her being too focused on modelling by claiming that she simply looks better in a bikini than Shields does. At one point, she mused aloud to camera that Shields might be jealous of her face.For all the belts. #ShieldsHammer TOMORROW 9:10PM ET/PT on @Showtime. pic.twitter.com/wFXIrT8iUL— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) April 12, 2019 Share48 Tweet Email1 Apr 13th 2019, 12:01 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more